Your Hobby Matters

As you might imagine, as a coach I spend a lot of time talking with people about what specific changes they’d like to make in their lives. 
 
I’ve noticed an intriguing pattern.
 
First, what people generally share are the Big Goals of life: a better job, less stress, lasting love, good health, an enjoyable home.
 
Then, they get around to talking about this other thing that they’re a little shy about. It’s kind of silly actually, not that important. It’s just this thing they like to do, that they wish they had more time for, it’s…
 
A hobby.
 
In our busy, super-productive, achievement-focused, time-is-money culture, it’s no wonder that people feel sheepish confessing how they'd like more time for their hobby. That thing they do just for fun.
 
My clients often come to me with this goal.

I’m totally behind them. I can relate. The fact is, I took an entire year off to pursue my hobbies.
 
At first, I didn’t realize this was the point of my sabbatical year. It quickly became obvious though.

As I sat down to plan my year off, what immediately came to mind?
 
All my interests that always got pushed aside by the fact that I had to make a living.

Random things I wanted to do. Things I liked to do.
 
So in my sabbatical, I indulged in these hobbies: wilderness survival skills, backpacking (which includes daydreaming in mountain meadows, watching wildlife, identifying plants, journaling, and campfire cooking), traveling, photography, reading, writing, and learning languages.
 
What are the biggest differences between the life of an adult and of a child?
 
One is that we are no longer granted expanses of time to pursue our interests that don’t earn money.
 
Have we really changed inside though? Aren’t we the same people as we were as children, who had interests as varied as collecting bugs, baking, drawing horses, playing violin, folding origami and taking things apart to see how they worked? (Oops.)
 
Plus, let’s not forget that as adults we now have the advantage of a much wider selection of hobbies than children! (I.e. paragliding, hele-skiing, motorcycles, cocktail recipes, chainsaw sculpture, etc.)
 
So today, I want to champion your hobby – and your making time for it.
 
It’s the end of January. If you’re in the cooler regions of the Northern Hemisphere, life might seem a little lackluster right now.
 
Give yourself a jolt of energy by making more time for your hobby.
 
That’s right. That “frivolous” thing that brings you no wealth or status, but which you do only out of curiosity and pleasure.
 
This is really important. This – in addition to all that important life stuff of career, family and goals – is about you being your best self. You expressing yourself fully in the world.
 
So sign up for that marathon. Join that jazz band. Clean out a corner of the garage for your new workshop. Book that river rafting trip. Fire up your kiln. Set up a telescope and spread out the star charts. 
 
Don’t be shy. Don’t even worry if you’re good at it.
 
If you’re stuck for ideas, here are a few questions to get you started:

  1. What did you like to do as a child? What activities utterly absorbed you?
  2. What are you naturally good at (and enjoy) but that you can't or don't do at work?
  3. What topic, skill or craft has always intrigued you? 

Seriously, the more “frivolous” and random, the better. Pick what inspires pure curiosity and joy.

What is one of your favorite hobbies? Share it with us by leaving a comment.
 
Make time for these hobbies. They will enrich your life in ways you can’t even begin to imagine.